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Dead, Dozens Missing As Chinese Tourist Boat Sinks Off Thailand

Dead, Dozens Missing As Chinese Tourist Boat Sinks Off Thailand

He said officials would consider whether to ban boats from going to sea during strong winds.

Officials have been ordered to start scouring the beaches at nearby islands and as far away as Koh Lanta and even Trang for bodies from the Phoenix boat disaster, which sunk off Koh Hei (Coral Island), south of Phuket, on Thursday.

Recovery divers have pulled 41 bodies from the sea off the resort island, but the authorities have said 15 other passengers remain unaccounted for.

The death toll has climbed to 27 after a tourist boat capsized off the popular Thai island resort of Phuket, authorities say.

Some of the bodies were found by divers who entered the wreck on Friday and others were floating in the water, navy official Narong Aurabhakdi said.

A helicopter and rescuers search an area near Phuket on July 7, 2018, as rescue operations continue for missing tourists following a boat accident on July 5.

The boat was carrying 105 people - 93 Chinese tourists and 12 crew and guides - when it hit trouble on the Andaman Sea - sparking a rescue attempt in the dark.

The accidents came as rescuers, also led by Thai navy divers, support 12 boys and their soccer coach stranded almost two weeks inside a flooded cave in the country's far north, and try to determine how and when to extract them.

Phuket Governor Norraphat said the Thai government had set up service counters in Phuket Airport to assist relatives of the victims who were coming to Phuket. The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear.




About 20 freezers have been donated, said Jessada Chokdamrongsook, a Health Ministry official.

Australia's foreign minister says 19 Australian personnel are involved in the Thailand cave rescue operation including a doctor who's played an essential part in assessing which boys can leave and in what order.

In images taken after the sinking, rescued people sat in large rubber life rafts surrounded by churning seas.

Tour operators had been warned about the severe weather, Tourist Police bureau deputy chief, Major General Surachate Hakparn, said.

Ambassador Lyu said it hoped the cause of the capsizing would be quickly ascertained and asked Somkid to have the relevant Thai agencies closely co-operate with China on the matter.

The second boat, the Serenita, had almost 40 passengers on board, Sophakarn said.

"Navy searchers found seven dead (on Friday morning)", Busaya Jaipiem, a spokeswoman for Phuket province said.

The Thai incidents came after an overloaded boat carrying illegal Indonesian immigrants capsized in bad weather off Malaysia's southern Johor state late Sunday.

"China expresses gratitude for the active search and rescue efforts made by Thailand", the spokesman, Lu Kang, told a regular briefing. A huge rescue operation is underway at the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex, where dozens of Thai Navy SEALs and global experts are attempting to find a way to get the boys out.


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